Introduction: At the very beginning of the Bible we find God saying
“it is not good for the man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18. In that
statement God seems to vote in favor of relationships. However, how
many times do you find that having relationships with others, not
being alone, creates most problems? What does the Bible teach us
about relationships? Does God’s statement about humans not being
alone have a deeper meaning? Let’s dive into our study and learn
what the Bible teaches about relationships!

  1. The Road to Honor

    1. Read Luke 14:7. Would you like to be honored? Is honor
      one of the goals of your life?

      1. If these people were eating alone, there would be no
        problem, right?

      2. Put yourself in the place of one of the guests. The
        fact that you pick a place of “honor” says what
        about your attitude about some of the other guests?
        (You think they are less important.)

    2. When it comes to business, do you seek the highest

      1. Does that mean you are the most qualified person, or
        do you seek the highest position for other reasons?

      2. What does the world suggest about seeking dignity,
        honor and success?

      3. If you do not seek honor, dignity and success are
        you lazy? Do you lack motivation?

    3. Read Luke 14:8-9. What is the logic behind taking the
      least important seat? Just because you are not the most
      important person does not mean that you are the least
      important person at the wedding feast, right?

    4. Read Luke 14:10. What good thing do you think Jesus is
      trying to do for us? (He is giving us tips (inside
      information) to help us avoid being humiliated. He is
      giving a roadmap to honor.)

      1. If we were not told that taking the least important
        seat was the “secret path” to honor, would anyone
        other than an obviously unimportant person do that?

      2. How would a person logically decide where to sit?
        (You would have to measure yourself against others.
        Jesus tells us to consider the needs of others first
        – not put our claims first.)

      3. Do you actually think that in real life the host
        cares about where you sit and would come and elevate
        you? (Our God is the Host, and He cares.)

    5. Read Luke 14:11. Why is this true? (Exalting yourself
      shows a primary concern about self. Being humble shows a
      primary concern about others.)

      1. If you are paying attention and taking notes about
        Jesus’ tip because you want to enjoy honor, because
        you want to be exalted, does that show that you are
        not humble?

        1. Is Jesus suggesting that we should look humble,
          but not actually be humble?

    6. Read Ephesians 4:1-3. What do you think Paul means when
      he tells us to be “completely humble?” Would a
      completely humble person have the hidden plan to be
      honored and exalted?

    7. Read Romans 2:7. What is the goal of the people mentioned
      here? (Glory, honor and immortality!)

    8. Read Romans 2:8. If you seek glory and honor, are you not

    9. Read Romans 2:9-11. What does this suggest about whether
      we should desire to be honored? (Having a desire for
      glory and honor is not inconsistent with being a
      Christian. If it were, Jesus and Paul would not mention
      them as a reward. The question is, how do we go about
      achieving glory and honor?)

  2. All Hat, No Cattle

    1. Read Matthew 23:5-7. If I told you that you could receive
      honor by having a wide “phylactery” and a long “tassel,”
      would you know what you should do? (A phylactery is a
      little pouch containing a writing from the Bible. The
      tassels were to remind people of God’s words in the Bible
      (see Numbers 15:39). A long tassel suggested that a
      person was really paying attention to God.)

    2. Many of you are reading this on the “” web
      site. Are the big phylactery, long tassel people not
      promoting the Bible? Isn’t that the essence of “GoBible?”

    3. What would be the modern equivalent to a big phylactery
      and long tassel? (A large, flashy Bible.)

      1. What about a big, dusty family Bible sitting
        prominently in a home?

      2. Are these kinds of people giving honor to God’s
        word? (They are advertising that they are more
        concerned about the Bible than others.)

        1. Is that bad?

      3. What would be better? (Showing you cared about the
        Bible by obeying – putting others first. They were
        about appearance (hat), not substance (cattle).)

    4. Read Matthew 23:8-12. What is the path to being exalted?
      (You earn it by humbly working for others, not taking the
      best seat, adopting an exalted name or having a flashy

    5. Hebrews 5:4-5. Think back to our first story about the
      wedding banquet host calling you to a higher place. What
      is our role in seeking glory and honor? (Glory and honor
      are consistent with Christianity. Claiming glory and
      honor are inconsistent with Christianity. If we humbly
      serve others, God will call us to be honored.)

      1. Have we gotten badly off-topic? How does this
        approach help with relationships? (You are not in a
        struggle with co-workers, friends and family members
        for glory. You are in a struggle with others to see
        who can be the most helpful!)

  3. Payback

    1. Read 1 Peter 3:8. How is this consistent with humbly
      serving others? (It tells us to be humble. But, more
      importantly, sympathy, compassion and love show that we
      put our selfish interests aside and focus on the needs of

      1. Let’s go back to the introduction just a minute.
        When God said “it is not good for the man to be
        alone” ( Genesis 2:18) was he just talking about
        marriage? (No. If we are alone, we think only about
        our own needs. When we are in a relationship, we
        think about the needs of others.)

    2. Read 1 Peter 3:9 and Leviticus 24:19-20. Has God changed
      His mind? He says in Malachi 3:6 that He does not
      change! (I don’t think God is teaching us about justice
      in 1 Peter 3, He is teaching us about relationships.
      Concern for others comes ahead of justice. Justice is
      essential for society ( Romans 13:3-5), but when it comes
      to personal relationships justice takes a back seat.)

    3. Read 1 Peter 3:12-13. If we have this self-sacrificing
      attitude about relationships, will we suffer injustice?
      (This text gives us two assurances. First, God opposes
      the wicked. Second, the nature of things is that if you
      are eager to help, people are nice to you.)

    4. Read Luke 17:1-4. When it comes to opposing sin, where
      should we start? (With us! Jesus says “watch yourself!”)

      1. How does Jesus suggest that we reconcile “no
        payback” and forgiveness with continuing sin?
        (Unselfishly seeking the good of others does not
        mean that we are silent about sin. Notice the
        forgiveness procedure: 1) Rebuke sin; 2) The rebuked
        person repents; and, 3)You forgive – without limit.)

    5. Read Matthew 5:23-24. Who is the person who is holding a
      grudge? (The person not at the altar!)

      1. How should we understand this – we need to be
        reconciled with people who do not like us?

      2. Years ago this text caused me to try to reconcile
        with someone who seemed to hate me because I was
        rebuking sin. Is that what this text means? (It was
        a painful process. I learned to look at things from
        the rebuked person’s point of view. The rebuked
        person hated me less, but was still unwilling to be
        my friend. The benefit of my effort was that family
        members now saw the facts more clearly and were
        drawn closer to me and the church. I now think that
        this text is directed to the situation where the
        person at the altar has done something wrong.)

    6. Friend, I hope that by now you see the Bible teaches that
      unselfishness, seeking the good of others first (rather
      than your own good), is the key to great relationships.
      Will you confess and repent of your selfish attitude and
      ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with a spirit of

  4. Next week: Guilt.